Deputy Speaker Voting: Mahama Provokes Applicant To Seek Review

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John Dramani Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama

Former President John Mahama has advised the applicant in the Supreme Court ruling on the Deputy Speaker’s voting right during proceedings to seek for review.

According to him, he cannot fathom how the Deputy Speaker can have dual voting rights when presiding over a session in the Chamber.

“The first vote in most cases taken on a motion in Parliament is a voice vote. The Presiding officer, whether the Speaker or any of his/her deputy speakers is supposed to listen to which is the loudest, the ayes, or the nays and make a determination.

“If the deputy speakers are allowed to vote, then they must take part, first, in the voice vote. If you are presiding and can shout aye or nay with your party in the voice vote, how do you impartially determine which was the loudest?” the former President quizzed in a Facebook post on Sunday.

He also questioned what will be the rationale behind the ruling by the Apex Court of the land adding the judgment “is leading us into the realm of absurdity.”

“What is the determination of the SC? That Deputy speakers can shout aye or nay with the side they agree or disagree with in the voice vote? The SC is leading us into the realm of absurdity! This judgment is regrettable, and I look forward to the applicant applying for a review of this ruling,” he advocated.

Background

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court has in a unanimous decision ruled that a Deputy Speaker of Parliament can vote and be part of the quorum for decision making in the House.

The contentious issue was whether a Deputy Speaker of Parliament presiding over proceedings can vote or should be counted as part of the quorum.

The panel chaired by Justice Jone Dotse said the approval of the budget was valid when deputy Speaker Joe Osei Owusu voted while he was presiding over affairs in the chamber.

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has described the Supreme Court judgment as judicial support for the controversial E-Levy.

Addressing the media, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu accused the judiciary of interfering in the work of the legislature which is another independent arm of government.

The Tamale South MP stated the ruling means deputy speakers must be stripped of their courtesies since the judgment makes them ordinary MPs contrary to what pertains in the UK and other jurisdictions.
By Isaac Dzidzoamenu

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